Situated in Tanzania’ heartland, Dodoma is the nation’s seat of government and political capital. Economically and commercially, it is less vibrant and developed than the country’s port city and commercial nerve, Dar es Salaam. But what Dodoma lacks in glitz and glamour it perhaps compensates with its rich agricultural highlands and has many places of interest for any passing visitor. It is also the centre of Tanzania’s wine growing industry.
Getting around Dodoma is quite easy as it is well-served by a good transport system with plenty of taxis and buses. The surrounding areas are relatively flat and many visitors opt to use bikes when touring the city. What the city lacks in buzz and hype, boisterous crowds and the partying scenes, it recoups with peace, clean air, and serene atmosphere.
To ward off boredom, you can head for a swim in one of the two nicely kept swimming pools around the city. And if swimming is not for you, you can sip a drink or watch television in your room in Dodoma Hotel, or one of the other big hotels in town. Here are the top places you can visit in Dodoma:
10 Must visit Places in Dodoma
1. Museum of GeoSciences
You will need to pay to play around in this museum but once you’re in you’ll get access to this rather forlorn collection of rock samples and geological information. Be warned this isn’t the biggest drawcard to get anyone to visit a museum and you may not see anything that you would find particularly riveting. If you’re a fanatical rock hound, inquire at the Geological Survey of Tanzania Laboratory behind the post office.
2. Bunge – Tanzania Parliament Buildings
The home of Tanzania’s parliament is an African-influenced round building. It’s only open to visitors during sessions (and make sure to bring your passport), but well worth a look from the outside at other times. Please note that photography is strictly prohibited so don’t say we didnt’ warn you if you land up in hot water.
3. Gaddhaffi Mosque
Funded by the toppled Libyan dictator and opened in 2010, the pink Gaddhaffi Mosque can be found north of the centre is one of East Africa’s largest mosques. It can hold an impressive 4500 worshippers.
4. Jamatkhana (Ismaili) Mosque
This mosque sits across the road from the Anglican Church. It was built back in 1954 and used exclusively by Dodoma’s Indian community, it has a distinctly British neoclassical design.
5. Anglican Church
In an interesting swapping of styles, the domed Anglican church in the town centre looks like something straight out of the Middle East.
6. Catholic Cathedral
West of the centre, the enormous Catholic Cathedral has Roman-style mosaics showing some saints, including the Ugandan Martyrs.
7. Lutheran Cathedral
Next door to the Jamatkhana (Ismaili) Mosque, the Lutheran Cathedral is Dodoma’s finest example of modernist architecture.
8. Nyerere Square
Can be found in the heart of the CBD in Dodoma. Nyerere Square was created in the memory of Mwl. Julius K. Nyerere, first president of the Republic of Tanzania, and has plenty of historical significance. It is worth making a stopover and spending your lunchtime there while snapping a few photos.
Dodoma City Map
9. Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings
The Kondoa Irangi Rock Paintings are a series of caves carved into the side of a hill looking out over the steppe. They are located approximately nine kilometres east of the main highway (T5) from Dodoma to Babati, about 20 km north of Kondoa town, in Kondoa District of Dodoma Region. The caves also contain paintings, some of which are believed by the Tanzania Antiquities Department to date back more than 50,000 years. The exact number of rock art sites in the Kondoa area is currently uncertain, however, estimates are of between 150 and 450 of the decorated rock shelters, perhaps you’ll even discover a few new ones of your own.
10. Lion Rock
Lion Rock (also called Simba Hill or in Swahili, Mlimwa) is quite the verticle trek up a hill but once you reach the top the area gives you an unmatched aerial view of Dodoma from the northeast side of the region. Lion rock is one of the few landmarks in Dodoma you simply cannot miss out on during your stay. Hike the rocky path and enjoy a beautiful glimpse of the entire city of Dodoma. The Lion Rock Dodoma is a favourite hangout joint for groups of friends and families during the weekends.